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Ethiopia General Recounts the Attack Against the ENDF North Command by TPLF

Lieutenant-General Bacha Debele 

Lieutenant-General Bacha Debele Recounts the Attack Against the ENDF North Command by TPLF

Key extracts of his testimony

• I was one of the people sent to personally witness whether or not the North Command sided with the TPLF Junta by visiting the army base extending from Shiraro to Zalambesa.  

• As you know a great deal of efforts are being made to ensure the independence and neutrality of the NDF from political parties. The defense reform agenda enables prevention of interference of the defense force in party related affairs and vice versa.  This effort is especially being realized after the reform. However, previously the defense force used to be partisan as the ultimate guardian of Revolutionary Democracy. This had to be changed and this was a major objective of the defense reform. 

• Since this party-based ideology was deep-rooted in the minds of people, it obviously required long term efforts to bring about change. It took even longer as some members of the army were loyal to the ideology and had deep party affiliations. The extremist junta wanted to make the situation appear as if the North Command sided with them in support of their ideology.

• The TPLF mafia group via its revolutionary democracy dogma infiltrated certain disgruntled members of the army exerting maximum efforts to disperse, attack and undermine the heroic, undefeatable and gallant National Defense Force. But as you know this plot failed.  

• I will provide some details to shed light as to how they went about hatching their plot.  

• At about 10 o’clock a week ago (November 3, 2020), some of the junta’s people embedded within the defense force were on a mission to do the following: 

- First, to destroy the army from within. 

- Second, to attack the army

- Third, to engage in pretentious negotiations and arbitration through respected elders to ask the army to surrender. 

• The junta led members broke the chain of command as they jammed the radio communication providing the army instead with fictitious radios and programs. They re-programed the radio communication to fulfill their mission by reaching all areas within the range of the North Command.

• They set the date of the attack to match the time when monthly salaries and ration were dispatched and distributed to the army. During the day of the attack, the army officials were invited for dinner and those present at this dinner were detained. They could not detain the deputy commander of the North command as he was not present among them. 

• They looted the army’s field ration and salary, disrupted radio communication with the central command and among the various divisions of the northern command. It is obvious that the sabotage was executed with the cooperation of disgruntled members from within the defense forces as it would be impossible for external elements to accomplish this. The looted field ration and money were provided to those aiding the junta. 

• They surrounded the NDF in different parts of the command telling them they will be free to go if they surrender their weapons. The army members were told that the Federal Government is not elected, but the regional government has been elected and has legitimacy. These members of the army were kept without food and water for three days. In some of the areas, the army appeared to agree to the negotiations in order to buy time. However, when they came to attack them, they started firing and escaped to another area. Some commanders informed the criminals to provide the army with some water promising they will keep on negotiating with their members to disarm. After they drank the water and strengthened themselves though, they started fighting and broke out of the area. None of the army members surrendered other than those detained by the criminals and were unable to do anything.

• On the fourth day, they forced General Nuru, who was one of their detainees, to send a radio message using the original NDF line to the army at gunpoint. He transmitted a message saying “stop fighting and bloodshed. Follow my lead in disarming. You will not find me from now on.”

• This message aroused suspicion in some preceptive members of the army. They concluded that he was being assassinated as he told them they will not be able to find him. They understood that they were also next in line to be assassinated. Others dismissed the message to disarm saying even if the General surrenders they will not.  None of them agreed to this call. They remembered their vows to their country and stood in unison.

• The false claim that the North Command sided with the junta originated from this radio call made at gunpoint. 

• Therefore, one of our missions was to investigate the situation on the ground firsthand and learn if the command was siding with the junta which we found to be an outright lie. Our second mission was to restore the chain of command and organize the army for offense.

• The participants of this atrocious attack against the Northern Command are the so-called special forces the junta trained; militia who lived and fought alongside the defense forces for 20 years - renegade groups who remained within the army to execute such missions and the OLF-Shene soldiers. 

• The fourth brigade of the 20th division located around Sero was a backup that provides support. They did not have anything to protect themselves with apart from probably guns. They fought with the junta forces till the end and not many of them survived. 

• Many died on both sides as our army was not willing to surrender. The attackers are those who lived with the army for 20 years.  They buried their militia while they stripped our soldiers’ bodies of their uniforms and left them under the scorching sun. They are not buried until today. The dead were left to be devoured by vultures. 

• This was an army who stood alongside them, helping them and supporting them for more than 20 years including during attacks of desert locust and COVID19 outbreak. 

• These are army members who built schools wherever the North Command is stationed. However, the attackers danced in joy circling the bodies of our soldiers, not even burying them. This was their response to the army that served them for 20 years. 

• Not only that, they also stripped the uniforms off their detainees and sent them off naked.  This was all done to them by forces who they considered to be their own. 

• Therefor the intervention is not only to maintain the unity of Ethiopia, but to also liberate the people of Tigray from the TPLF. 

• These are the atrocities being committed. 

Tigrayan analyst admits to TPLF starting the conflict by attacking Ethiopian National Defense Forces in Tigray 

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Ethiopia General Recounts the Attack Against the ENDF North Command by TPLF Reviewed by Admin on 1:46 AM Rating: 5

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